What Role Should DevOps Play in Java Security?

No matter how good your security team is, it can sometimes feel like they are playing from behind. Security personnel are brought in to patch vulnerabilities after deployment, but getting a security alert is only the first step. Security has to triage the alert, search for what went wrong and potentially shut down functions or entire applications to fix the problem.

This reactive approach can be costly and risky, as it increases the likelihood of vulnerabilities going undetected and exploited. The earlier in the lifecycle of the application these vulnerabilities can be prevented, the less of a burden is put on internal security personnel.

This is made even more difficult when using java applications. Java’s complexity, bytecode format and vast ecosystem pose unique challenges for cybersecurity experts. This requires deep domain knowledge to effectively secure and manage dependencies.

Adding security protocols into the development stage reduces risk, emphasizes collaboration and speeds up delivery. In this blog post, we’ll explore how DevOps can play a crucial role in improving Java security by incorporating security into the development process and taking the maintenance burden off of security teams.

Giving Time Back To Your Security Team

Companies who deploy their security resources at runtime do so in different ways, and the work they spend their time doing can significantly impact the effectiveness of the program. Some companies choose to build their own tooling internally, which can be a costly distraction from their core business. Maintaining software is incredibly expensive, and adding another layer of software to maintain can be a major distraction.

Others rely on logging and reporting tools that generate alerts, which can be overwhelming for security staff to sift through. This approach may sniff out and remediate a solid volume of security threats. But at the end of the day, it’s still reactive. While it does create a problem-solving atmosphere, it can continually increase the budget while little progress is made in reducing risk over time.

Some companies assign security tasks to IT people. For these folks, risk reduction is not even their main job. And they are frequently given subpar tooling to do this job. Without a proper system for threat detection or remediation — and without the time to focus on these issues — these folks are pretty much winging security day-to-day. 

To overcome these challenges, companies can look to technologies which automate security guardrails and reduce the burden on their employees. By incorporating security into the development stage, companies can make sure certain common vulnerabilities never even enter their stratosphere. This dramatically increases the value of the security program, since the majority of threats never make it to deployment.

This is a proactive approach, allowing security specialists to focus on reinforcing their security infrastructure, rather than maintaining it piece by piece. This means that the security will steadily improve over time, rather than remaining stagnant or even degrading as the attack surface grows with the product.

DevOps’ Role in Java Security

DevOps can play a key role in ensuring secure software development by integrating security into the development process. DevOps teams can work with security personnel to identify potential vulnerabilities and threats and implement security measures throughout the development cycle. By working together from the beginning, teams can address security issues before they become major problems.

While this method does shift some of the burden of work from the security team over to the development team, it represents a net gain for the organization. It helps improve the security posture while decreasing its cost.

What’s more, by working together to identify and address potential vulnerabilities, teams can develop a shared understanding of security risks and how to mitigate them. This leads to better communication, more effective security measures, and a more secure overall development process.

Address Security at the Dev Stage to Spare Runtime Woes

Incorporating security into the development process is crucial for improving Java security and reducing overall risk at runtime. DevOps can play a crucial role in this process by integrating security into the development cycle, identifying and addressing security vulnerabilities, and taking the maintenance burden off of security teams. By working together and prioritizing security from the start, teams can create a more secure and efficient software development lifecycle, while also saving their company time and money.

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